The Congo Panorama ~ Le Panorama Congolais

Les Echos de Kinshasa:
News ~ Info/Actualités

Features and Special Reports (in french and english): Documents et Rapports spéciaux très importants
Documentation + Key Interviews
Commentaires ~ Editorials
Economy: contrats miniers signés
Important Speeches ~ Discours clés
Si vous ne connaissez pas vraiment Joseph Kabila, l’homme et sa vision lisez le message suivant: + Dans une interview à Jeune Afrique : Voici les vérités crues de Joseph Kabila !
Le FRONACORDE - NKOLO MBOKA: un nouveau mouvement des masses pour le Congo.

Adherez-y massivement!

Conférence Internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs: Lettre ouverte à tous mes compatriotes Congolais.

Le Président Joseph Kabila se prononce sur toutes les questions de l'heure. Neamoins, il est estimé que l'époque des dons présidentiels toujours détournés doit être révolue:
La privatisation du Congo s'accèlere:

Les princes du mobutisme et l’avenir de notre pays, commentaire critique de Kâ Mana

Kengo wa Dondo doit répondre aux crimes suivants:
L'implantation militaire des puissances occidentales sur le continent africain pour controler les matières prémières, une réalité évidente! La RDC ne deviendra jamais le pion américain dans la Région des Grands Lacs.

De la Françafrique à la Mafiafrique: François-Xavier Verschave. Entretien avec Enrico Porsia.

George Forrest répond à Global Witness:
Les Deux "Non" de Mzee Kabila:

Evaluation du projet de Constitution

Bilan de la transition ~ Transition assessment
Nationalisme, Culture & Society.

Ainsi Parla Patrice Lumumba:

Le combat révolutionaire de Pierre Mulele

Video Choc: Assassinat barbare, sauvage et terroriste de Patrice Lumumba!

VIDEO SHOCK: Watch Patrice Lumumba's savage and terrorist assassination here!

VIDEO SHOCK: La terreur du Roi Léopold II - King Leopold's terror in Congo. Watch it here!

Hommage à un veritable révolutionaire Lumumbiste: Léopold Amisi Soumialot parle de son défunt père, Gaston Soumialot.

Video: Ecoutez la voix de Gaston Soumialot ici.

Video: Le film réalisé par Jihal El Tahri et intitulé "L'Afrique en Morceaux: La tragédie des pays de la Région des Grands Lacs" desormais discrédité.

Regardez-le ici!

Video: Mobutu ou les 32 ans de démagogie, de kléptocratie, de terreur et de prédation! Film réalisé par Thierry Michel

Regardez-le ici! Mais attention! Ce film contient des mensonges, surtout à propos de Lumumba!

Congo at the ICJ ~ Verdict de la CPI
Horribles Photos du genocide au Congo: sickening photos of the genocide of the Congolese people committed by Rwandans, Ugandans and Burundians, backed by Western superpowers and multinationals.

Democratic Republic of Congo: the future is bright

Antoine Roger Lokongo

Kabila signing the constitution into law.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the runaway in Kinshasa is rough and so you might feel a bit uncomfortable. But there is nothing to worry about.”

I have heard the pilot repeat that same mantra again and again whenever my plane takes off from Kinshasa. It is only this time that I have managed to put it into perspective.: that the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is difficult in every aspects, but the future is bright. Kabila’s country has come a long way, as far as the transitional process is concerned. It was in 1990, the year that one of his 7 year mandate came to an end that Mobutu Sese Seko warmed up to multiparty democracy and promised to organise free and fair elections since he took power in a coup in 1961, after betraying Patrice Lumumba. Mobutu stayed on for another 7 years without any mandate until Laurent Désiré Kabila kicked him out in 1997. The rest is history.

Now the democratisation process in Congo has gained an irreversible momentum, and President Joseph Kabila seems to be winning where his predecessors failed. Except his slain father after coming to power in 1997, gave a clear time table which was going to culminate in general elections in 1999, had Rwandan and Ugandan troops, supported by well known superpowers and multinationals, not invaded Congo on 2 august 1998. This war of aggression lasted for five years, during which Congo’s natural and mineral resources were systematically looted by the invaders with the complicity of some Congolese themselves and the so-called Congolese of Rwandan origin, otherwise known as the Banyamulenge.

Congo entered what is hitherto known as the “Third Republic” following the solemn promulgation of the new constitution by President Joseph Kabila on 18 february 2006, in front of the president of the African Union, Denis Sassou Nguesso and the South African President Thabo Mbeki, who, in 2003, hosted the intercongolese dialogue which culminated in a peace deal that sealed the end of the war (formally) and a power sharing transitional government between Joseph Kabila and former Congolese warlords to prepare Congo’s first multi-party elections in 40 years. Patrice Lumumba was the only elected leader in Congo since independence. Assassinated in the way that we know, democracy was also decapitated.

In his promulgation speech, President Joseph Kabila said that the way was now wide open for Congolese people to go to the polls in 40 years and invited Congolese political actors not to pursue any red herrings as in the past since independence.

“The long transition is over. The time for an equitable and balanced share of power on the basis of political bargaining and arrangement is now a thing of the past.

Everything will now depends on the choices the people themselves will make. Let the people now freely choose their leaders. Let us solve once for all the problem of lack of legitimacy at the top [of the state].

“The way is totally prepared for elections. Nothing can stop us now from going to elections. I invite all political actors, for the sake of respect for our people to bow to the ruling of the ballots”, he said.

The current constitution has been put to an referendum and approved by 84,31% of the electorate. It gives Congo a new legal framework, limits the president ( whose age limit is reduced from 35 to 33) to two five-year term and he names the prime minister from largest party. The parliament has to be elected and the judiciary is independent. Provinces are increased from 11 to 26 and power is decentralised. Provinces can keep 40% of the revenues.

The promulgation ceremony took place at the same historic parliamentary building where King Baudoin of Belgium and Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba signed the independence of Congo on 30 June 1960; followed by Lumumba’s most acclaimed speech that sealed his fate and behind which Laurent Désiré Kabila’s body lies in a coffin draped in the same blue flag ( symbolising peace and prosperity) with six small yellow stars on the left (representing the then six rich provinces of Congo) and one big yellow star in the middle symbolising unity, that was hoisted on 30 June 1960.

Now the new constitution has re-given Congo the Luluabourg flag which was designed when Lumumba’s traitors led by Mobutu and pro-lumumbists met in Luluabourg (now Kananga) to seal reconciliation, charter a new constitution (which virtually is not different from the recently promulgated one) and design a new flag. The current flag comprises the colour blue to symbolise peace, crossed by a red line and hedged by two yellow lines ­ red to recall the blood of the martyrs of independence and the 5 millions massacred as a result of the war of aggression and yellow for the vast mining deposits of Congo. The country also re-adopted Mobutu’s coat of arms, a leopard head sitting on a crossed spear and a javelin surrounded by two palm leaves, all sitting on embroidered motto: Justice, Paix, Travail (Justice, Peace, Work). The country’s national football team has been renamed “Léopard” instead of “Simba” (lion).

Laurent Désiré Kabila restored the first democratically elected government led by Patrice Lumumba in 1960. It comprised the head of a lion sitting on three arms locked together, surrounded by two palm leaves, all sitting on an all sitting on embroidered moto: Democracy, Justice, Unity. It was one last very painful concession for nationalists who had to swallow all these changes and to see the national coulours which Lumumba and Laurent Désiré Kabila defended up to the supreme sacrifice, be confined to the national archives. But who knows? Should the nationalists win with a majority in parliament, a lot of these laws could be reversed. What matters now, they say is to work for the triumph of the ideals and republican values for which Lumumba and Laurent Désiré Kabila gave their lives.

The international community’s financial and military support to the process has been remarkable, especially through bodies such as the UN Mission in Congo (MONUC) with its 17,000 UN peacekeepers and the CIAT (Comité International d’Accompagnement à la Transition) in which all ambassadors of the five members of the UN Security Council represent their respective countries in order to oversee the process. The European Union is increasing its financial contribution and is sending troops to provide security during the first multi-party elections (SADC countries are ready to send troops too), due in 18th of June (at least the first round), according to the provisional time table set up by the electoral commission. International monitors will on the scene to monitor the voting process.

But already, the Congolese people are upset by the resumption of war in Rutsuru area, near the Rwandan border, waged by General Nkundabatware, a Congolese Tutsi of Rwandan origin, wanted by the International Criminal Court; as well as by the position the Belgian government and other westerners have taken, putting pressure on the transitional parliament to adopt blocked lists instead of open lists (here political parties contest elections as candidates and not individual leaders of those political parties. Quite unseen even in western democracies themselves) to give the minorities a chance to win (by minorities, they means Congolese of Rwandan origin). In Congo we are 450 tribes and each one is a minority. Why should the Banyamulenge or the Banyarwanda, as we call them, enjoy a special treatment? Luckily enough, the parliament rejected that proposal and the Banyamulenge or the Banyarwanda are all up in arms. One of them, Azarias Ruberwa, a vice-president in the transitional government has just returned from a surprise visit to President Paul Kagame in Kigali. Shortly after, L’Avenir, a Kinshasa-based daily, revealed on 26.02.2006 that “there a movement of arms in the east, especially in the territory Minembwe, near the Rwandan border, which Banyamulenge or the Banyarwanda wants to turn into a Tutsiland”.

President Kabila has consequently shifted his “Etat Major” - Staff Headquarters - to Bukavu in the east to flush out all pockets of insurgency before the elections.

“The hidden agenda is no longer hidden,” the paper revealed, adding that while in Rwanda Ruberwa felt more Rwandan than Congolese. He even dared to make a statement regarding the recent International Court of Justice’s verdict in favour of Rwanda (on the basis that Rwanda, like the US, does not recognise the Court) against Congo. “It’s official. Rwanda defeated [us] at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague and since this is an internationally recognised court of justice, the DRC has no alternative other than conceding defeat,” Ruberwa, a vice president in Congo, said on 21.02.2006, in an exclusive interview with the Rwandan daily, The New Times.

On 19.12.2006, the ICJ ruled in favour of Congo against Uganda. The latter was found guilty of illegally invading Congo, of perpetrating a genocide of 5 millions Congolese and of plundering Congo’s natural and mineral resources. Uganda was consequently ordered to compensate Congo. Kinshasa is said to be requesting the sum of $10 billion from Uganda, which is nothing compared to harm Uganda has done to the people of Congo, their country and the amount of wealth looted, and still looting through the networks it left in place.

This ruling was a hot issue during the election campaign in Uganda and when Museveni was declared a winner on 27.02.2006, the French daily, La Libération, said that “the Bismark of the Great Lakes Region has now been re-elected for a forced third term”, alluding to Museveni’s invasion of Congo. “Since Museveni miliatrily supported Laurent Désiré Kabila to oust Mobutu in 1997, he came back as an invader. Despite international community’s pressure, Museveni has never really renounced his expansionist endeavours in the territory of his biggest neighbour in the east [the DRC]. The trafficking of minerals is going on unabated between the two countries, in favour of the elite in power in Kampala.

“Branded as the African ‘Machiavelli’ by a local analyst, Yoweri Museveni has lived up to this title, the British and the Americans’creature in the Great Lakes Region”.

Well, you have heard it from the horse’s own mouth. But Congo, subjected to an arms embargo since 1990, strives to become politically, economically, militarily and democratically stable in order to shake off that sad image of being its neighbours’walk over. The Congolese people are just a stone’s throw from getting there. So the future is bright. Heaven will never forgive any wrecker this time.

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